Summary: smarterGerman is much different than every other language learning course I’ve tried. Each lesson corresponds with a chapter from a German crime story. Through these lessons, and lots of exercises, this course will help you reach the B1 level. Unlike most courses where there’s a lot of spoonfeeding of information, this course pushes you to use your critical thinking skills.
Michael, the course creator, is an excellent teacher
There are abundant exercises to practice every aspect of German.
It’s a bit expensive but still good value.
I Like Michael’s teaching philosophy will not only help you improve your German, but also your approach to language learning.
The learning cycle will help you practice reading, writing, listening, speaking, vocabulary, and grammar.
Learning through the help of a story.
The songs interspersed in the lessons provide a nice change of pace and sound great.
It’s a challenging course, even if you’ve already studied some German.
I Don’t Like It can be very intimidating as an absolute beginner to German.
Students who aren’t very committed to studying German may struggle.
It’s not cheap.
Price: The Everyday German Course (A1-B1) costs $360 excl. VAT/GST. The B1 Exam Hacking Course costs $69 excl. VAT/GST. The bundle which includes both of these courses costs $411 excl. VAT/GST.
Summary: Lingodeer may not be as well known as other language learning apps, but it’s actually better than most of them, and free. You’ll practice the language by completing lots of different types of exercises. They also include plenty of grammar explanations and opportunities to review what you’ve studied. All in all, for a free resource, it’s excellent.
It has a great design and everything works well with only a few minor issues.
As thorough as you could hope for from a free resource
Free and still better than many paid resources.
Lots of different exercise types in the lessons.
Detailed grammar explanations.
Clear audio recordings.
I Don’t Like…
The content isn’t always ordered well with some unusual words thrown in too early.
Not sufficient for developing oral communication skills.
Not yet available in lots of languages.
Languages: Japanese, Korean, Spanish, French, Chinese, German, Portuguese, Vietnamese are all taught in English. There are also some courses not taught in other languages.
Summary: Mondly is a below average online language learning resource. It does some things right and other things poorly. It’s pretty cheap, and a decent enough crash course that could help you before a trip abroad. Still, it wouldn’t be my first choice.
Both the interface and the course itself could be designed better.
It’s decent for learning vocabulary but a lot of material isn’t explained very well.
It’s fairly inexpensive.
Daily lessons, weekly quizzes, and monthly challenges – these functionalities encourage you to practice every day.
The vocabulary included is useful and drilled in an effective way.
It’s fairly inexpensive.
I Don’t Like…
The content and exercises are the same for all levels and languages.
The exercises are mostly passive and won’t help you use the language.
The order of lessons and topics isn’t very well thought out.
The interface is not user friendly and the platform is visually unappealing.
Price: There are three plans…
$9.99 per month for one language
$47.99 per year ($4/mo) for one language
$47.99 per year ($4/mo) for all languages
Strangely, I was able to access multiple languages even though I only signed up for one month at $9.99.
Summary: One of the most famous language learning resources out there, the Rosetta Stone method relies on immersive teaching so students will only find the material in the language they’re learning. Starting off with the basics, the units get progressively harder and cover a large range of topics. Suitable for beginner and intermediate students, it is more expensive than competitors and the exercises get very repetitive after a while. While it isn’t a bad resource, you can definitely find something better.
Very easy to use and navigate, the content is well presented but the similar format becomes deadly boring after a while.
While a lot of material is covered, you have to infer everything from the pictures that you are given. As such, there are no explanations at all.
It’s not as good and more expensive than other resources.
It’s easy to use and navigate – the content is very clearly laid out.
The extra features in the ‘Extended Learning’ pack make the material a bit more interesting to engage with.
While it is not particularly fun to use overall, I do believe that learners would improve their language skills using Rosetta Stone.
I Don’t Like…
The main units are very repetitive and I think I would find it demoralising after a while if I kept using it.
It doesn’t explore the cultural context of the language at all.
There are no explanations about any of the content and so you have to infer the meaning of everything through pictures.
It’s too expensive.
Price: The price varies by subscription length:
$79 for 3 months
$119 for 6 months
$179 for 12 months
$249 for 24 months
Summary: Pimsleur’s courses primarily focus on oral language. They are one of the biggest names in language learning but was something I had a hard time recommending to people in the past because of the insanely high prices.
They recently added a subscription model with much more reasonable prices and a new app that is much better designed. This review focuses on the new subscription model which isn’t yet available to the general public from the Pimsleur website but you can find it here.
I was really impressed with the quality of the lessons and now that the price is much better, I’m happy to recommend studying with Pimsleur.
The lessons are very well structured and the new app works great
Pimsleur primarily focuses on oral language at the expense of grammar.
The new subscription cost is very affordable.
The lessons focus on oral language which gets students speaking right away.
The lessons are very active. You’re constantly being prompted and need to produce the language you’re learning.
The lessons build upon each other exceptionally well with previously learned material constantly being reinforced.
The app is well designed with lots of beautiful images and interesting cultural notes.
I Don’t Like…
The lessons aren’t terribly exciting.
The written language is much more of an afterthought and not heavily featured in the lessons.
The practice activities included in the premium plan aren’t particularly well done.
Price: A basic subscription costs $14.95 per month and a premium subscription costs $19.95 per month. This is a massive improvement over the old prices which cost as much as $550 for five levels.
You won’t find any information about this new subscription price on their website. The link below will take you to a page with more information on their subscription plans.